Kenya-born Frenchman Abraham Kiprotich and Ethiopian Herpha Guta on Saturday led their compatriots to dominate the 2018 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon as they won the first three prizes in both men and women’s categories of the 42km race.
Kenyan elite runners dominated the men’s race winning the first, second and third prizes while the Ethiopian runners were dominant in the female category.
Another Kenyan Ronny Kiboss, who was also the first runner-up in 2017, finished second while Ronny came second in time of 2:13.26 while Victor Benjamin completed the Kenyan domination coming in the third position in 2:13.29.
Kiprotich has taken over the record time of the Lagos marathon from Kiptum, whose previous record was 2:15.20, set last year.
For the women category, Ethiopia’s Guta won the race in 2:38.25 while compatriots Girma Getachew and Ayelu Hordofa were second and third in 2:38.36 and 2:38.41. Ethiopian Tanui Rodah was the 2017 winner of the category.
The winners in the men and women category were rewarded with $50,000 each while the first and second runners-up were given $40,000 and $30,000 each.
In the indigenous category, Ilya Pam won for the second time after winning in 2017 edition. Philibus Sharabutu, who was the first Nigerian in the 2016 edition, came second while Williams Kefas came third.
Deborah Pam emerged as the first Nigerian woman to cross the finish line while Fadekemi Olude and Oluwaseun Olamide were second and third respectively.
There was a mild drama as America-born Nigerian Mary Akor claimed that she finished ahead of Olude and demanded to be named winner. The organisers however explained that Akor had competed in the first edition of the race as a foreigner and not a Nigerian, hence the award of the prize to Olude.
In the 10km race, exclusively for non-professional athletes, Stephen Daniel came first to win a brand new GAC car while Poku Luka came second with N1m and Ismaila Sajo was third and got N750,000.
Rose Akuso, Faustina Ogu and Onan Saleh emerged top three in the women’s category. They were rewarded as the men.
Kiprotich said consistency was his watchword while preparing for the race.
He said, “I just made sure that I was consistent with my timing for the race and that is the most important thing. Long distance race is about timing and not your competitors. Once you are consistent with the time, try to improve on it no matter what happens to the other athletes, you are one step away from winning the race.”
Over 150,000 runners participated in the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which organisers said offered $208,000 in prize money.